GM’s Trademark for ‘Sidewinder’ Steering System Could Appear on Silverado EV

GM already has the name CrabWalk for GMC's Hummer EVs, and now it looks like it might want another name for other four-wheel steering systems.

General Motors is a fan of four-wheel steering in EVs. The new electric Hummer is the most noteworthy example, but the feature is also coming to the Silverado EV and probably other future electric vehicles. The automaker can’t just run around calling every system CrabWalk, though, it’s gotta come up with other names. Maybe something like “Sidewinder.”

First reported by GM Authority, the Detroit automaker has filed a trademark for that designation. A brief amount of context provided with the application states the name is being reserved in the context of “Electronic controllers for steering systems for land vehicles.” It’s pretty easy to connect the dots here.

GM has shown us the Silverado EV will have four-wheel steering as previously mentioned, however it hasn’t given it a name as far as we’re aware. It’s possible the Sidewinder name will be applied to that truck’s system, in order to keep the Crabwalk designation applied strictly to Hummers.

The sidewinder name itself is likely recognizable to some as the designation for a slew of air-to-air missiles developed for the United States military. It’s also the name of a snake; a pit viper that moves in a peculiar way over the sandy terrain it typically inhabits. In fact, the missile gets its name from the reptile. If we had to bet, the steering system is referencing the snake. The missile would be a little more controversial.

To be clear, a trademark is no definite statement of intent. In other words, just because the company has protected the designation doesn’t mean it has to use it. Automakers refresh certain trademarks all the time just to make sure no one runs away with one of its popular brand names. GM has used the sidewinder name for an off-road vehicle in the past, though. As GM Authority notes, the company built an articulated 4×4 prototype in the 1960s called the Sidewinder. As the automaker is a fan of recalling its history, it’s plausible this is what it’s referencing.

Until GM formally uses this name, though, we can only speculate about its true meaning.

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